PIFG Launches new Ahi Satellite Tagging Project

Working with Atlantic Bluefin scientist Dr. Molly Lutcavage, Director of the Large Pelagics Research Center (LPRC), PIFG successfully launched a new tuna tagging project on Kauai last month by placing two pop up archival satellite of PSAT tags in yellowfin tunas of 160 and 180 pounds. Two experienced Kauai-based boat captains assisted the tagging team in finding, capturing and releasing the large yellowfin tunas in June and July 2014.

The goal is to tag 3 more yellowfin tunas this summer then to direct efforts to tag 5 bigeye tunas in the winter. The purpose for tagging these mature tuna is to better understand their migration patterns and behavior once they leave the Hawaiian waters. Tags record light levels (used to estimate daily geoposition), temperature and depth for 9 months. The PSAT is programmed to then will release from the tether, float to the surface and, hopefully, transmit the data to receiving stations on NOAA satellites. Once received, the data will be examined and analyzed by Dr. Tim Lam from the LPRC.

In support of this project, the PIFG team provided a public presentation on the Kauai Ahi Tagging Project and conducted an ahi tag training and certification workshop in preparation for the tagging events. PIFG also provided project outreach by distributing Tag Recovery Reward flyers to various Fishing Tackle and Fish Dealers Statewide. Project updates will also be published in the Lawaia magazine and on the PIFG website www.fishtoday.org.

We would like to acknowledge and thank the following participating fishermen who were instrumental in kicking off this project on Kauai. Captain Ryan Koga, Captain Marvin Lum, Captain Alan Horikawa, Cory Nakamura, Eric Hadama, Craig Koga, Mark Oyama, and Bryan Hayashi.


A Big Mahalo to the Western Pacific Fishery Council for sponsoring this cooperative research tagging project.


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